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Adjust Servings:
2 pickled Cabbages
1 kg Rice
220 g Onions
250 ml Sunflower oil
3 cloves Garlic
1.5 tbs Savory
1.5 tsp Black pepper
0.5 tsp Salt
0.5 tsp Red pepper
1 liter Water

Zelevi sarmi

Main dish

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Pickled cabbage rolls - sour, spicy and soft

  • 3 h
  • Serves 8
  • Medium



Zelevi sarmi is Traditional meal – pickled (sour) cabbage leaves with savory rice filling full of flavor. In brief sour cabbage is a naturally fermented product in a water-salt solution. Winter is Soo Tasty with Soo Foodies!

  • Thin away the thick part of the stem at the base of each leaf for tender and tight rolls
  • Place first bigger sarmas on the bottom of the gyuvetch and then smaller on top
  • You may roll the sarmas on your cutting board instead of your palm
  • Always put gyuvetch /clay pot/ in cold oven as it has to gradually heat and cool
  • You can prepare a salad with the spare cabbage leaves
  • You can also add chopped leaves on bottom for extra sour cabbage
  • If the cabbage leaves are too salty, soak them in water beforehand



Cut the onion and garlic into small pieces. Heat 200 ml sunflower oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add rice and fry another 2-3 minutes as you mix constantly until the rice gets crystal. Pour 1 litter water and stir. When the water is absorbed by the rice, remove the rice from the stove and add the spices - savory, black pepper, red pepper and salt. Mix and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.


Prepare the Gyuvetch vessel. Cover with the outer cabbage leaves of the first cabbage its bottom and sideways. “Undress” the cabbages leaf by leaf as you keep the whole and big enough to stuff leaves and save the inner heart for salad. Thin away the thick part of the stem at the base of each leaf, without cutting through the leaf. Take a leaf in your palm as the leaf is curled up and the stem end is closest to you. Take 2-3 table spoons from the rice filling and place it in the upper middle part of the leaf as you leave the sides of the leaf uncovered. Be careful not to overstuff the leaves. If you use middle-size cabbage leaves usually 1-2 table spoons are enough. Wrap the leaf as you start to roll from the stem, fold the sides of the leaf inward and continue to roll until you have a completely rolled sarma. Continue until all cabbage leaves are stuffed. This quantity is for two rows of sarmas in a big 35 cm gyuvetch /clay pot/.


Put the outer cabbage leaves from the second cabbage on top and sideways to prevent burning. Finally, spread over with the remaining 50 ml sunflower oil on top. Put in cold oven and then turn it on to 200 C. Bake for 2 hours.

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